Improved Vertical Leap

Some call squats the “king” of lower body exercises for strength training, but this only true if it is done properly. The biggest mistake most people new to the squats make is leaning too far with their body. This will hurt your back and make your progress much slower than it should be. While doing the squat, keep the bar resting you’re your upper back, rather than your neck. Always keep your knees above your feet to keep stable. And at first, focus on whether or not you are doing it properly, not how much weight you can lift.

Dumbbell lunges are also great for overall leg strength. Just grab a pair of dumbbells (one in each hand), stand up straight, and step as far as possible while still keeping your torso straight up and down. In the deepest part of the movement, your front leg should be in a ninety degree angle. Now stand up and repeat with the other leg. About a dozen reps with each leg should be sufficient for a basketball player’s purposes.

Of course, you can’t get great vertical leap with strength training alone. You also need to do plyometrics, that is, drills that require you to jump with explosive force. One good example is the “weighted box jump.” To do this exercise, get a box that is anywhere from a foot and a half to two feet and a half high (depending on how high your vertical leap is). Now, with a light dumbbell in each hand, jump onto the box, landing as softly as you can. It helps to bend the knees fully upon landing. Hop off and repeat.

Power cleans are a great exercise to train fast, dynamic movement, but they require a great deal of technique. Doing it wrong might result in no development, or worse yet, serious injury. Definitely consult with a personal trainer before attempting this advanced exercise.

Like in any good exercise program, don’t neglect your cardio. After all, the less fat your muscles have to carry upwards, the farther up you are likely to go!

Components to Peak Fitness

You don’t have to bulk-up your muscle mass to become a stronger person. Successful strength training will be comprised of exercises that are targeted at making your body stronger in specific areas utilized by your sport or activity. If you’re a swimmer for example, your strength training should target your arms and pecks in a way that helps you pull yourself through the water more efficiently. Or maybe you’re a runner who has been experiencing ankle pain. Your strength training should be focused on gradually increasing the strength in your ankles. To achieve peak fitness your strength training should work with, not against, your main activity.

Cardiovascular Exercise for Peak Fitness

The key to achieving peak fitness for cardiovascular exercise is not quantity, but quality. If you’re not constantly incorporating some harder work into your cardiovascular exercise routines your level of fitness will plateau. If you’re doing thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise, after a ten minute easy warm up do two minutes at an 80-90% effort, then slow back down for a minute to allow your heart rate to settle down. Repeat for ten minutes, and then finish with a ten minute cool down. When this pattern becomes easier for you, increase the amount of time you’re exercising at a higher intensity. You can also decrease the time you’re resting in between. To maintain your personal level of peak fitness you’ll need to change the intensity of your workouts every four to six weeks.

Flexibility Training for Peak Fitness

To perform more efficiently as an athlete your body needs flexibility training. The more flexible you are, the less likely you will suffer a performance related injury, and it will be easier for your body to adapt to and recover from hard exercise. Flexibility training is important to keep your muscles loose and will prevent and alleviate cramping. You should stretch for at least ten minutes after each of your strength training or cardiovascular exercise sessions. Like strength training, flexibility training will enhance your body’s ability to perform more efficiently. Flexibility training will also help you achieve your peak fitness level.

Lower Ab Workout

If you want to lose weight, burn fat and tone your muscle, then you want to go with the best lower ab workout aimed at these results. Contrary to popular belief many reps with short time intervals are not always the most effective ways of burning fat, and often slower exercises can be more effective in slimming down. One of the best lower ab workout techniques that is going around the gym circuit at the moment is the vertical leg lift.

This technique is an old one, but it fell out of favor with trainers in the eighties and early nineties when the machine-assisted abdominal workout trend took over. It is actually an extremely effective way of toning or building your lower abs. All you have to do is lie on your back with your legs at ninety degrees to the floor. Cross your feet over at your ankles and put your palms flat on the ground at your sides. Use your stomach muscles to try to push your feet upwards, without pushing down with your arms. It doesn’t matter if you cannot lift them very high, but try to keep them as straight as possible.

This is the best lower ab workout for both building muscle mass and burning fat. If you want to lose weight, this is the best lower ab workout if you do medium length intervals, and several relatively short sets. If you really want to build up your lower abdominals, then keep your feet pushed up for several seconds before bringing them down. Try to do sets of eight reps, if you can!

If you are a member of a gym the best lower ab workout you can do there is on the Captain’s Chair. If you are not familiar with this apparatus, it is a simple back board with a foot rest and two arm rests that should be at chest height when properly adjusted. All you have to do is stand with your back against the backboard and your arms on the armrests for support. Keeping your legs together, lift them up to your chest. Make sure you don’t arch your back or all of the strain will be immediately transferred to your hips.

If you want to build muscle doing this exercise, try to lift your knees up as high as you can go and down again in a total of four to five seconds. For those looking to lose weight, this can be one of the best lower ab workout techniques if you lift your knees up to parallel with your waist, then down again in two seconds. Try to keep your breathing constant, exhaling when you contract your muscles. If you inhale when you contract, you risk developing your abdominal muscles outwards, giving you an appearance of a beer belly.

About Speed Training Workouts

Success in most sports is based heavily on the ability to accelerate quickly and efficiently. This is because most sports primarily require short bursts of speed before the athlete stops, slows down or changes direction. The exception is track and field sprinters, where the acceleration portion of speed development is critical because it sets up the rest of the race. But even sports like soccer, traditionally trained using long slow runs and intervals, require a shift in emphasis to acceleration development. Success in these ‘endurance’ sports still depend on short periods of acceleration in order to get to a loose ball, breakaway from an opponent and get back on defense.

So there’s little point in doing speed training workouts if you haven’t first mastered the ability to accelerate. Here are some basic speed training workouts that you can do in order to improve the ability to accelerate. For our purposes we are talking about runs from 0 – 30 yards.

But before you begin, regardless of your sport or beliefs about training speed, there are some things you need to remember when it comes to acceleration development.

  • Full recovery between repetitions is required.
  • Full recovery means rest approximately one minute for every 10 yards that you run.
  • ‘Don’t train speed every day.
  • The more force you apply to the ground, the faster you’ll pick up speed
  • Make sure that your feet land beneath the hips.
  • The heels should never touch the ground when doing speed work.
  • You run faster when you stay relaxed then when you strain.

I like to start the training season with short runs up hill because this forces athletes to really drive the foot down into the ground in order to gain momentum. The ability to apply force into the ground with each stride is the driving force (pun intended) behind getting faster. I like to use fairly steep hills, that way the requirements in steps 4-7 above really become more pronounced. When you don’t follow those criteria, it becomes extremely difficult to accelerate quickly.

  • 10 x 20y uphill or on a flat surface from standing start. 2 minute rest.
  • 10 x 30y uphill or on a flat surface from (push up down position, 3 point stance or seated). 3 minutes rest.

As you can see, speed training workouts themselves aren’t especially complicated or fancy. The results come from following the 7 rules I mentioned earlier, mastering technique by using speed drills and improving strength by lifting weights. In all, the key is to follow a comprehensive and complete speed training program that will not only teach you the types of workouts that improve speed but also the many other elements of training that compliment your speed work and develop overall athletic ability. By looking for short cuts and quick answers, you’ll see inconsistent and frustrating results. But when your speed training workouts fit into a well designed training plan, you’ll get results that you didn’t realize could occur so quickly and easily.

Choose a Wonderful Racing Bike


When buying such a bike, future owners have to choose between the frames, made of carbon fiber and aluminum. Most of the aluminum frames excel at driving on a flat surface. However, this option is much cheaper as compared with carbon. Frames made of carbon fiber exhibit improved resistance to stress and maximum effective cushioning during the transport.


As already mentioned above, the racing bikes are often equipped with narrow high-pressure tires. The surface of the latter contains a minimum quantity of protectors. Wheels that are tailored to these features would provide a low-level friction from the road surface, which contributes to the development of a high speed.


Most of such bikes have no pedals as standard. This is due to the need of suiting the characteristics of riders’ shoes. Competent approach to the choice of the pedals is largely reflected in the comfort of driving and achieving the desired results.


If you are in need of a racing bike, I would recommend the 700C racing bike. This bike comes with the ultra-light aluminium alloy frame, which is anti-static coated. Thus, it looks nice and is durable for use. And the three aluminium alloy spokes provide high strength and speed improvement. What’s more, the racing 46T crankset with exquisite workmanship keeps fast riding.


  • Material: Aluminium alloy
  • Load capacity: 150kg
  • Pedal category: Ball bearing pedal
  • Braking system: Double V disc brake
  • Size: 700x52cm
  • Package Weight: About 14kg

Stages of a Proper Workout Session

  • Start with a warm up.
    Warm-up is not stretching, as what we have been taught in schools. Start with light cardio work to warm up those muscles. Take about 5 to 10 min of lighter workout at the bike or treadmill.
    When you stretch when your muscles are cold, you may end up spraining it.
    After the warm up cardio, you may stretch if you wish.
  • Actual Workout
    You may now start with more intensive cardio workout. You should not do intensive cardio for more than an hour as it will deplete the critical glycogen storage in your muscles. After cardio, you may perform a bit of weight training.
  • Cool-down- (light cardio)
    When you do intensive cardio or weight lifting, lactic acid may accumulate in your muscles. The only way to get rid of it from your muscles- is by movement & circulation- so, just like your warm-up, you do light cardio for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stretching
    Experience sore muscles or stiffness after your workout? Or having to endure sore muscles for few days after workout? I strongly recommend that you incorporate stretching in your post workout. Do not underestimate the power of stretching. Incorporate stretching after your workout and you will feel great- you’ll walk easier and it will lessen your muscle sprain or injury. I speak from my personal experience- this really works. For a good cool down, spend about at least 10 minutes.

Weight Training Routines

Weight training can also improve overall health. You’ll gain strength, which can help you avoid injuries. A weight training routine also increases bone density, which helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Finally, weight training is and excellent exercise routine for older folks. As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass. The only way to even maintain the muscle you currently have is weight training. Also, people who train with weights tend to have fewer falls and better overall balance. And of course, older women should pay special attention to the paragraph above about osteoporosis.

You may ask, what type of is right for me? The simple answer is just about any routine that provides resistance against muscles. Heck you can even begin your weight training routine right now (you don’t even really need weights). Try this – bend your left arm at the elbow so that your forearm is parallel to the floor with your hand facing the ceiling. Now put your right hand on top of your left. Try to touch your left hand to your shoulder (pivoting only your elbow) while pressing down with your right hand.

Congratulations! You’ve just begun your first weight training routine.

Why do women tend to shy away from weight training routines? Look in just about any gym and you’ll see mostly women in the aerobics classes and mostly men pumping the free weights. Maybe its the idea that if women do weight training they will become muscle bound freaks.

Well ladies, if you want a drop dead figure then weight training is for you! Trust me, you will not look like a muscle bound freak, just very toned and totally sexy. You’ll look and feel better. And, as you age, you’ll be much less susceptible to problems like osteoporosis and bone fractures.

I know it can be a bit intimidating going to the gym and walking over the free weight area (not to mention the cat calls). You can easily get started with dumb bells, weight machines, and even body weight exercises (like pushups). The key is to start your weight training routine as soon as possible.

There are a few great weight training resources for women, but here’s a hint – you can use any of the one’s listed above. Just don’t tell you boyfriend, brother, or husband, because pretty soon you’ll be able to bench press more than they can.

Critical Leg Squat Steps

Simplistic and easy to perform, the leg squat will be done engaging in other activities as well. Standing in front of the stove cooking, talking on your cell phone or having a conversation with your children are prime times to perform leg squat bodybuilding moves. You must be careful how your technique is performed.

Many exercises in bodybuilding lend themselves to mult-tasking.

When performing leg squats, comfort is critical. Not being in the mood, tired and overstressed is no excuse for not performing the squats. If done incorrectly, it can be dangerous with pulled muscles and ongoing pain. It is better to do nothing than experience the damage of the muscle.

These are the steps to a successful set of leg squats:

  • First, stand with your legs apart. The width of your shoulders is the key to the proper width of your leg placement. Loosen up your body with stretches and bends.
  • Breathing deeply during each set should be done from the stomach instead of the chest area. Many successions of deep breathing should follow.
  • Remember to relax and concentrate on the way your body feels. This will gauge how well your body is able to take the exercise. So go slow and think and feel.
  • When beginning the leg squat, gradually lower your body while gently bending down at your knees. Remember to exhale when you are going down and inhale when you are going up.
  • When you reach the lowest point, stop and hold on at this point for a few seconds. This is the most important part in the exercise as a whole. Again, inhale when you raise your body from the squat position.

Over time, your leg muscles will tighten. This bodybuilding exercise is incredibly beneficial. It is also an easy exercise to perform.

Do not start with a large number of repetitions at first. This could cause damage in over working the muscles. The number of reps will increase as you gain strength and endurance. As you progress, slowly increase the number of reps. You will soon realize the simplicity of the exercise. Even though it is simple, the muscles are being taxed quite a bit and therefore will grow bigger going forward.

After beginning with leg squats, the use of small weights and advanced work out routines will mean shoulder and arms will follow. The legs love to be worked out and will respond by getting much bigger and stronger over time.

Key Optimal Health

Physical Health

So much has been written about the subject of physical health in the categories of health and wellness, diet and weight loss, fitness and bodybuilding etc. In this article I will primarily deal with physical health in its internal aspect which includes building a healthy immune system, detoxifying the body, healthy and quick elimination, and nourishing the cells with proper nutrition. Aging itself can be slowed down by keeping the internal aspect of our physical health up to par. Wouldn’t you love to have a healthy, youthful, energetic, strong, lean body which is free of disease, sickness and pain well into adulthood beyond the age of 40? It all narrows down to what type of food we put into our bodies – either food filled with toxins and poisons, or healthy, living, vital food.

Mark and Patti Virkler, in their inspiring book “Eden’s Health Plan – Go Natural” write:

“Food is intended to furnish the body with all the live elements needed for the regeneration of its cells and tissues. If the body fails to be healthy, the lack or deficiency of regenerative elements in the food is the cause of, and the responsibility for, whatever ailment, sickness or disease overtakes it. Our bodies seek homeostasis, equilibrium, balance. This equals health. When given the right building blocks to work with, the body maintains itself in health.”

These building blocks can be found in whole, unbleached, organic grains, rice (wild rice, brown rice etc.), beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, various seeds and herbs etc. Large portions of these building blocks can be found in the “super-food” family in such foods as Spirulina and Barley Grass. (A super-food is extremely rich in a large variety of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and amino acids, and can be assimilated by our bodies very easily. Spirulina is a complete protein and is known to be very healthy.) Look in your local health food store for super green foods in powdered form. I personally sometimes use Garden of Life Perfect Food Super Green Formula.

Super-foods are known to:

  • Deter Aging
  • Massively Boost Your Immune System
  • Aid Weight Loss
  • Lower Your Cholesterol
  • Radically Improve Your Energy
  • Enhance Your Mental & Emotional Well-being
  • Boost Your Libido
  • Alkalize Your System
  • Protect against Toxins and Pollutants
  • Beautify Your Skin
  • Cleanse and Fortify Your Blood
  • Nourish and Revitalize your Systems

Fight and Protect against numerous diseases including Diabetes, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer, Arthritis, Cataracts, Osteoporosis, Acne, Obesity, High cholesterol, Age-Related Blindness…And Much More!

Again I quote Mark and Patti Virkler:

“By taking just a bit of a super-food (in capsule or powered drink form) as a supplement to your diet, you will find many wonderful things happen to your body. Essentially, the nourishment will give your body the needed resources to rebuild any broken or damaged parts and improve your body’s chances of returning to homeostasis. Testimonies of its power range from improved eyesight, to relief from back pain, to better scores in sports by world champion competitive athletes. Generally, one will experience feelings of increased energy and vitality; reduction and alleviation of stress, anxiety and depression; relief from the discomforting symptoms of fatigue, hypoglycemia, some allergies, poor digestion and sluggishness; and improved memory and mental clarity. People also experience elimination of mood swings, toxin elimination, better sleep, reduced cravings for food and sweets, lower blood pressure and many other health benefits. Then there are many specialized health problems which have disappeared as people’s bodies receive adequate nutrition through super-foods. Prostate problems have been normalized, as well as triglycerides, arthritis and diabetes, and many other severe and degenerative diseases. Basically, any and every disease will be fought off by your body, if it has the right tools to fight with. Super-foods give it the right tools. You just need to try it for thirty days and see what it may do for you. I recommend taking a product that includes several kinds of super foods, as they work together in a synergy that can have a profound effect on your health and vitality. If your body needs detoxifying first, you may experience a bit of a “tissue cleansing” during the first few days or weeks of taking the super-food as your body cleanses itself.”

Basically if we put the wrong food (and drink) into our body it weakens the immune system and opens the door for us to be susceptible to health problems of whatever sort (whether it be frequents colds and sicknesses, flues, aches and pains, sores and ulcers, weakness, sluggishness, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, heart problems, diabetes, cancer or psychological disorders such as malaise, apathy or memory problems etc., etc., etc.) Looking on the bright side a healthy immune system that is not swamped with toxins can fight off diseases successfully!

It is preferable to never be unhealthy to begin with and to eat nothing but healthy food from day one. Unfortunately it is not this way. Many have been conditioned to eat unhealthy, fattening, artery clogging foods from childhood to the grave. Many of us think it is a normal part of the aging process to start getting weaker, fatter, having more pain etc. after age 30 and onward. In many cases (definitely not all) premature aging and bodily weakening is the result of years of poor eating habits from childhood to adulthood. Due to many years of wrong eating habits it may be best to detoxify.

In the process of nourishing our cells with foods high in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, super-foods, and whole grains our body naturally detoxifies itself in the process, which in turn strengthens our immune system and slows, or in some cases, reverses the aging process. The key to optimal health as far as the physical aspect of our health goes, is to:

Eat plenty of Grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, super-foods, herbs, being sure to get plenty of exercise, pure water and clean air, excreting waste from the intestines quickly (which is a byproduct of eating plenty of fruits, fiber and vegetables). There are also natural supplements you can take such as Vitamin C, vitamins and minerals, and various antioxidants unless you are getting plenty of these from your regular diet.

I left out other important factors which contribute to overall optimal health. They included, but are not limited to, being healed of emotional traumas, maintaining a calm mental attitude, living in a spirit of prayer, faith, hope and love towards others in general, and towards God, Spirit, Higher Power in particular.

Next, I hope to share a little about the three remaining categories of health – mental, emotional and spiritual.

Mental and Emotional Health

Mental and emotional health are so closely related it is hard to separate the two. Having a healthy mind is not limited to having a keen intellect and an excellent memory. Someone can excel at this level of mental health but still be an emotional wreck, not to mention being spiritually ignorant at the same time.

Negative mental attitudes or emotions can have a direct effect on our physical health even if we are eating healthy food. Emotional traumas, anger, rage, hate, stress etc., when persisted in day in and day out, weaken the immune system and manifest in ill physical health. A negative mind, over time, often erases all the good that healthy food does for us.

Some forms of sickness, disease, and illness, as well as bad habits like smoking, drinking, drugs etc., are often external symptoms of something deeper. They are effects of a deeper cause. And until that cause is addressed and healed the symptoms will keep coming back like fruit on a tree whether in the form of ill health, disease, anxiety, bad habits of one sort or another, or in the worse case scenario cancer. Luckily there are warning signs when all is not well within.

The subconscious part of our mind is the storehouse of our emotions and memories and it is here where we need healing as far as our mental and emotional life are concerned. Sometimes negative or uneasy dreams (some of which originate from the sub conscious) are manifestations of our own fears and internal wounds. Some dreams are also messages, clothed with images we can comprehend, from our highest level of mind – the super conscious level – warning us when we are making wrong decisions, or heading in a wrong direction. In those rare cases where we are susceptible to the healing energies of the super conscious level of mind we can experience internal healing quicker than we ever imagined. More about this in a minute when I get to the spiritual aspect of health.

Along with a healthy diet it is important to think positive thoughts and maintain a positive attitude, avoiding anger and bitterness towards others. But, thinking positive thoughts and making an effort to be happy, loving, and optimistic, are only part of what is involved when it comes to the healing of our emotional life. We can only go so far by exercising will power alone, as important as it is to use our own efforts when attempting to make a change in our emotional life for the better. All our ethical standards, our rules and regulations for leading an acceptable moral life, all our positive thinking formula are a means to an end, the end being the opening and revelation of the spiritual aspect or our mind – the super conscious level of mind. This brings me to the last category of health, the spiritual category.

Spiritual Health

I have written about this subject elsewhere and will be repeating some of the information here. Keep in mind when reading this that being spiritual is not to be confused with being religious. Someone who is religious can be operating from a physical, emotional, and mental level only, but be void as far as being spiritual goes. A pseudo religious life (not to be confused with a genuine religious life) that is lived in pride, elitism, self righteousness and egoism is completely opposite of spiritual life. In context of this article being spiritual means living your life from the level of your super conscious mind, and living a harmonious life naturally from that level. This is easier said than done because our pride and ego often get in the way and cause us untold pain and suffering. But by living in harmony with the super-conscious level of our mind, and accessing the spiritual grace and energy which flow through (from God and Spirit) that same level of mind, our mental and emotional health, as well as our physical health, all fall into place and are balanced.

All our moral, ethical, religious or merely human efforts at trying to be a more loving, positive, optimistic person are a feeble way of (often unconsciously) aligning, or attempting to align, ourselves with that ever present flow of energy, light, grace, and Spirit permeating throughout all creation.

This ever present, but often unperceived and untapped, spiritual energy upholding all creation is the source of a truly happy life even when we find ourselves in the midst of negative external circumstances. It is the ultimate key to optimal health. Some call this ever present energy cosmic consciousness, super-consciousness, Christ consciousness, God, Spirit, a Higher Power etc. Some people personalize it and clothe it with a human form and then worship the person it manifests through. Ancient writings say the heavens and earth were made by the word of God and by the breath of his mouth. This is a human way of trying to accommodate a spiritual truth to the limited understanding of the human brain, using analogies, parables, particular genders, and concepts that can be understood by the rational brain. This often results in misunderstandings and even war and bloodshed in the name of religion.

The naked truth is intuitively perceived by the higher aspect of human consciousness called super consciousness. And it is this level of consciousness (Christ consciousness) that wells up from within to “save,” change, deliver, and heal us when the thick layer of ego, all the emotional blockages, wounded memories, and wrong thinking, are thinned out enough by our own efforts at self improvement. This is the truth of the “Messiah” or Savior figure often mentioned in ancient writings. Eventually we have to let go of our own strivings and let God take over.

Or, we can continue to resist the inner pull and instead live an unnatural life with the end result of disharmony on all levels physical, mental and emotional. (This is the truth about the so called wrath of God. It has nothing to do God or Spirit being angry at us. But it has everything to do with us bringing suffering upon ourselves by choosing to go our own way, not heeding the whispers and impressions of the super conscious mind either within ourselves, or speaking through dreams, visions, other people, or even through writing, art, and so on.)

Once we tap into the spiritual flow of grace then a truly changed person is the result, from the inside out. Children are closer to this level of being than adults who have been conditioned and brainwashed throughout life via peer pressure, upbringing, culture and so on. Humility is key, not pride and ego. Attaining to the spiritual level of healing consciousness is the end of all religions.

Safely Do the Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is an easy to do exercise which doesn’t require any equipment. Just find a carpet or mat to lie on and you can do this exercise perfectly. The reverse crunch is not a difficult exercise but it’s a good place to start your quest to a flat stomach.

Here is how you should perform the reverse crunch:

  • Start Position: Lie on the floor with both legs folded, but keep your feet slightly off the floor. Both legs should be relaxed. Keep both hands palm down at both sides of your body close to your pelvis.
  • Movement: Contract your lower abs by bringing your folded knees tight to your stomach. Slowly separate your knees from your stomach but keep them slightly off the floor. Repeat.


  1. Keep your lower back flat on the floor at all time to avoid exerting pressure on your back
  2. Close your eyes and focus on your abs
  3. If you want to create an extra intensity in this exercise, strap some leg weights to your ankles and perform the exercise.

The reverse crunch can be highly effective if done correctly. I suggest that you incorporate it into your regular abs routine.